Monday, May 15, 2017

TABT Day 1

I had my first full day on the bike. The day started out rainy and cold, but as I biked on the weather became pleasant.

It only took 10 minutes before biking out of Florence (the starting point) and another 2 hours to get to Mapleton, the next biggest town on the route for the day. The town is made up of a row of shops and a bus selling fish across the street. I decided to sit down and have lunch at a small diner. I ordered chicken strips and the woman gave me 1 extra to "really make sure I had energy to continue".

After my lunch break I biked roughly 3 more hours to the halfway point, a town called Swisshome​. This was the first moment I began to question everything. The last hour of biking, I must have taken a break every 5 minutes. After arriving to town I decided I'd had enough biking for the day (20 miles) and would ask the church if I could set up camp in their yard. Nobody answered so it became clear that I would need to continue biking to the next campground.

The next 20 miles were all uphill, against light headwind, after already being exhausted. At one point I got a second wind and made good progress, but that last 3 miles was painful. I finally made it to the campground, but it was still locked up for winter. With no way to call or use the internet, I decided I'd have to find something or break in to the campground.

Luckily to the left of the entrance was a path that led down to the water where I saw an old fire pit. I decided I'd have to set up camp there. The whole evening I was afraid that I'd get in trouble. The only uncomfortable moment was when a huge dog came by my camp and I was half expecting to be attacked and half expecting the owner to show up. Instead the dog jumped in the river and continued up to the lake and no owner ever appeared.

I ate a hot bowl of Ramen (and realized the suggested serving size is half the package, ha!) and then by 8pm I was sound asleep. Woke up a few times in the night but the camping gear was mostly comfortable enough (or I was so exhausted, I don't care)

Distance for the day: 42 mi (68km)
Total distance: 42 mi (68km)

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